Sandi Thom has been making headlines after she revealed, during a very emotional video, that her new track “Earthquake” had been turned down by radio stations.
Thom took to Facebook to call out BBC Radio 2 (and hurled several expletives at the station) after she learned that her track (out on Nov. 27) would not be making their playlist.
“I wanted to make this video so people realise how much it hurts because I apparently can do no right,” she says in the video, before going on to explain why her song should be heard.
“I wrote a song that is pop and catchy and fits their format and there is no reason why they shouldn’t play my music and I swear to God they have no idea how much it actually hurts when it’s been years and years trying to gain some kind of respect from these people,” she explained.
Thom is clearly upset and reveals that she’s had enough of the industry determining which songs are going to become a success.
“I am f***ing sick and tired of having to sit on the edge of my seat waiting for these people to come back and tell me their verdict of whether this song is going to be a success. Basically without their support it can’t be a success,” she says.
For more watch the video below but be warned there is a lot of swearing.
Is Thom right to call them out for not giving her airplay? It’s a tricky one. The music industry is saturated with talented individuals all competing for their shot at stardom but there are a limited number of slots that radio jockeys have to play new music. They try hard to predict what the public wants to hear but, at the same time, Thom is not a newbie and her hits like “‘I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker (With Flowers In My Hair)” have proven popular in the past.
She’s certainly not the only musician to be denied airplay, with perhaps one of the most shocking ones being Madonna.
Earlier this year the “Queen of Pop” learned that her new track, “Living For Love,” would not be making Radio 1’s playlist and she claimed that this was because of age discrimination. According to the radio station age had nothing to do with the decision, rather it was because they didn’t like the song.
“There’s nothing personal about Madonna. It’s just about the merit of the music an artist is creating at the time. We haven’t banned Madonna. If she comes back with another track…” Radio 1’s controller Ben Cooper said, The Telegraph reports.
There’s also Robbie Williams, who said he was “gutted” when Radio 1 decided that he was not making their playlist. Again this was thought to be an ageist decision and Williams shed light on it during an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Mastertapes.
He said, “I’m very ambitious. So when Radio 1 goes and is taken away from you, a huge bit of your arsenal goes. It’s your main oxygen to get your stuff out there.”
But, at 34 years old, Thom is unlikely to blame ageism for the fact that her track has been rejected. Is there another reason? Perhaps not in Thom’s case but Tyrese Gibson certainly thinks there is for him: racism.
Speaking during a video obtained by TMZ, Gibson threw shade at mainstream radio for not giving his track “Shame” airplay while artists like Sam Smith and Justin Timberlake are played across all channels including “urban.”
“I got an issue with mainstream radio right now,” he said. “I don’t create limits for myself so I don’t appreciate mainstream [radio] not playing my song.”
If you do want to see Sandi Thom’s new song watch the video below.